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The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship: A Russian Tale Hardcover


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The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship: A Russian Tale + Baboushka and the Three Kings
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (January 1, 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374324425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374324421
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 10.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A delightful picture-book version of the Russian folktale about the simple third son who, through the magical powers of the Listener, Swift-goer, Drinker, and others, performs the tasks set by the Czar and wins the princess. The handsome illustrations which fill the pages with animation and gleaming colors have a folk character and Russian flavor." --Starred, Booklist

About the Author

Arthur Ransome (1884-1967) was an English author and journalist, author of the Swallows and Amazons series and many other much-loved children's books.
 
Uri Shulevitz is a Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator and author. He was born in Warsaw, Poland, on February 27, 1935. He began drawing at the age of three and, unlike many children, never stopped. The Warsaw blitz occurred when he was four years old, and the Shulevitz family fled. For eight years they were wanderers, arriving, eventually, in Paris in 1947. There Shulevitz developed an enthusiasm for French comic books, and soon he and a friend started making their own. At thirteen, Shulevitz won first prize in an all-elementary-school drawing competition in Paris's 20th district.
 
In 1949, the family moved to Israel, where Shulevitz worked a variety of jobs: an apprentice at a rubber-stamp shop, a carpenter, and a dog-license clerk at Tel Aviv City Hall. He studied at the Teachers' Institute in Tel Aviv, where he took courses in literature, anatomy, and biology, and also studied at the Art Institute of Tel Aviv. At fifteen, he was the youngest to exhibit in a group drawing show at the Tel Aviv Museum.
 
At 24 he moved to New York City, where he studied painting at Brooklyn Museum Art School and drew illustrations for a publisher of Hebrew books. One day while talking on the telephone, he noticed that his doodles had a fresh and spontaneous look—different from his previous illustrations. This discovery was the beginning of Uri's new approach to his illustrations for The Moon in My Room, his first book, published in 1963. Since then he was written and illustrated many celebrated children’s books. He won the Caldecott Medal for The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, written by Arthur Ransome. He has also earned three Caldecott Honors, for The Treasure, Snow and How I Learned Geography. His other books include One Monday Morning, Dawn, So Sleepy Story,and many others. He also wrote the instructional guide Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books. He lives in New York City.

More About the Author

Arthur Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884 and went to school at Rugby. He was in Russia in 1917, and witnessed the Revolution, which he reported for the Manchester Guardian.

After escaping to Scandinavia, he settled in the Lake District with his Russian wife where, in 1929, he wrote Swallows and Amazons. And so began a writing career which has produced some of the real children's treasures of all time. In 1936 he won the first ever Carnegie Medal for his book, Pigeon Post.

Ransome died in 1967. He and his wife Evgenia lie buried in the churchyard of St Paul's Church, Rusland, in the southern Lake District.



Photography (c) Arthur Ransome's Literary Executors & courtesy of the Brotherton Collection, Leeds University Library

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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All of Shulevitz's books have good pictures, but this might be his best.
Oddsfish
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship won the Caldecott Medal in 1969 as the best illustrated American children's book in that year.
Donald Mitchell
This story is written by Arthur Ransome along with illustrations by Uri Shulevitz and is an instant treat!
Kirara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship won the Caldecott Medal in 1969 as the best illustrated American children's book in that year. The illustrations feature bright colors, subtle shadings, and stylistically interesting pen highlights to suggest outlines and details. The illustrations take you enjoyably into a magical world for a fascinating journey, and greatly add to the pleasure of this traditional Russian tale. The story is build around the theme of: "You see how God loves simple folk."
A family has three sons, two who are clever and one who is foolish. "He was as simple as a child, simpler than some children, and he never did anyone a harm in his life." The parents were proud of their clever sons and disappointed in their foolish one. When the news comes that the Czar wants a flying ship, the parents support the efforts of the two clever sons. They set off and are never heard from again. When the foolish son sets off, he gets the the minimum of support and encouragement.
He soon runs into "an ancient old man with a bent back, and a long beard, and eyes hidden under his bushy eyebrows." The foolish son offers to share his meager food, apologizing to the ancient man. But when he opens his bag, marvelous food appears instead. The ancient man has magical powers and teaches the foolish son how to make a flying ship for the Czar. The ancient man also advises the foolish son to take along everyone he meets on his trip to the Czar's palace to deliver the flying ship.
Along the way, the foolish son meets a most unusual set of people with great individualized talents. As you read the book, you will be wondering what their significance could possibly be. They turn out to be a sort of 19th century X-Men.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Oddsfish VINE VOICE on June 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship by Arthur Ransome with illustrations by Uri Shulevitz is easily my favorite picture book. Everything is perfect about the book. First of all the pictures are marvelous. All of Shulevitz's books have good pictures, but this might be his best. The pictures jump off the page with their color and with the humor portrayed in them. The story is, of course, the best part of the book. The story is hilarious with marvelously interesting characters. It also has some good morals like "God loves simple folk." I work in a library, and adults and kids all love this book. I have also seen the book performed for children, and it proved to be excellent for reading aloud. The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship is an amazing picture book and deseves is Caldecott Medal and its classic status.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Robin Williams made an audio version of this story that my younger brother would replay for hours on end...It's hilarious and engaging, with his obvious talent for the voices...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Hill on June 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story is great, if a little predictable. The young fool sets off to find a flying ship and thereby win the princess. A magical old man helps him find the ship, then the fool picks up a bunch of people on the way to the czar's palace, all of whom have these weird special talents. Once at the palace, the czar doesn't want to hand over his daughter and sets before the fool a number of tasks, which amusingly, but somewhat predictably line up with the special skills of each of the people he picked up along the way.
The illustrations leave a lot to be desired. Although they are fun, detailed and colorful, they miss many chances to illustrate the story more dramatically. This is surprising given that the illustrator claims in his bio to be a filmmaker in addition to a children's book author. His illustrations need some close-ups and more interesting angles!
Still, I would recommend this book, it is a wonderful example of a Russian folk tale. In the hands of another author and illustrator, it could be even better!
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By ahiloki on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful retelling of classic Russian folk tale. Illustrations are perfect for sharing the story with children. This is a classic for all generations.
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